This study examined the impact of Career & Technical Education (CTE) credit accumulation on the persistence and academic attainment of student service members/veterans (SSM/V) within the 2-year public postsecondary education segment. SSM/V are a small but significant population of underrepresented non-traditional students within postsecondary education. This study sought to explore the effect of CTE credit accumulation on SSM/V performance in five key dichotomous outcome areas: (a) persistence, (b) degree attainment, (c) certificate attainment, (d) any award attainment, and (e) vertical transfer. Data from the Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study (BPS), which are maintained by the National Center for Education Statistics within the U.S. Department of Education, were analyzed using linear probability modeling.

The results of this study found no association between CTE credits earned and SSM/V status on four of the five dichotomous outcomes examined: persistence, degree attainment, certificate attainment, and any award attainment. The fifth outcome, vertical transfer, showed a statistically significant and positive relationship to CTE credits earned and SSM/V status. As SSM/V accumulated CTE credits, the probability of vertical transfer increased. Results in each of the first four outcomes also showed a significant and positive relationship with CTE credit accumulation. As students' CTE credit accumulation increased, the probability of persistence, degree, certificate, and any award attainment also increased. With the vertical transfer outcome, the results showed a significant but negative association to CTE credits earned. In this case, increased CTE credit accumulation resulted in decreased vertical transfer probability.

The implications from this study are likely to be of interest to CTE and SSM/V researchers, as well as 2-year postsecondary policy and decision makers. Researchers, for example, may want to replicate this study using datasets containing larger SSM/V participants, which may produce results with stronger statistical power. CTE and community college policy and decision makers may want to consider the results of this study as they focus on serving the needs of the SSM/V community on their campuses, and as they strive to create CTE learning opportunities that improve overall student success.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Vocational education; Career education; Technical education; Soldiers -- Education, Non-military -- United States

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Leo Mallette